Gippsland South Small business

Labor’s holidays causes angst for business operators

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has launched a survey to determine the true cost of Melbourne Labor’s new public holiday as businesses across Gippsland weigh up whether they can afford to keep their doors open on the Grand Final Parade holiday.

Mr O’Brien said the introduction of two additional public holidays to the Victorian calendar would come at a detriment to regional small businesses.

“Whether you’re operating your own or managing a small business, this public holiday is going to be a costly affair,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We all love an extra holiday but there's no such thing as a free lunch - extra holidays cost our businesses money and create a disincentive to employ people.  The Government’s own figures show this holiday will cost $898 million and result in costs to business of a further $286 million.

“If the government is interested at all in supporting business, particularly small business, and creating jobs, it isn’t showing it through these holidays.”

Mr O’Brien said he had been contacted by a number of business operators in the electorate who said they simply could not afford to open on public holidays due to increased staff wages.

“This is another disappointing example of a Melbourne Labor city centric government that is out of touch and does not understand business or our rural communities,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Labor claims there will be regional tourism benefits but I fear we are headed for "ghost towns" on this new public holiday because many businesses will close.  That will only further hurt local tourism.”

Mr O’Brien has this week sent the survey to business operators across the electorate to gauge the cost and whether businesses believed it would be viable to open.

“The survey asks the respondent if they support or oppose the two new public holidays, if they intend to open or close on Parade Day and if they expect to do more or less trade,” he said.

“I ask people to complete this survey to give an indication of the true impact of this public holiday.”

The survey can be filled out at www.dannyobrienmp.com.au/public_holiday or can be posted to interested people by contacting Mr O’Brien’s office on 5144 1987.

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